Archive for the 'Android' Category

Hash It! 1.3.0: Master Key Caching, Private Key Support and Improved Usability

Dec 25, 2010

Many people seem to get a productivity boost during the holiday season - open source projects all over the world are pushing out new releases these days. Hash It! is not an exception, so I am proud to announce the availability of Hash It! 1.3.0 for Android, a major feature release.

Most new features introduced with this release improve Hash It!’s usability, such as (optionally) caching the entered master key for a configurable amount of time, so that you don’t have to type it again and again as you hash passwords for multiple web sites. Another usability improvement causes Hash It! to automatically return to your web browser once you have hashed the password without the need to manually hit the back button. Of course, this is also configurable.

While previous Hash It! releases covered the functionality of the original Password Hasher Firefox extension, the Password Hasher Plus extension for Google Chrome introduced a new feature to improve the password strength using a private key. Hash It! 1.3.0 puts in support for this feature and should now again be fully compatible with Password Hasher Plus.

Last, but not least a few bugs fell by the wayside. Sorry, guys… ;-)

Hash It! 1.3.0 is available via the Android Market. Details are also available at:

Merry Christmas & have fun using Hash It!, your friendly password memorization brain extension! ;-)

rnv-Handy-Ticketing auf Android?

Oct 9, 2010

Kurze Crowdsourcing-Umfrage: Hat schon mal jemand erfolgreich die rnv-Handy-Ticketing-J2ME-Applikation auf Android zum Laufen gebracht? Meine Versuche via MicroEmulator (kein Onscreen-Keyboard) und Netmite (kommt nicht über den Login-Screen weg) waren leider nicht erfolgreich…

Bugs, bugs, bugs...

Jul 10, 2010

Well, it seems that some ugly bugs made it into version 1.2.0 of Hash It!. Unfortunately, it took five days to notice…

Anyway, a new version (1.2.1) is out now, which should hopefully solve these issues. If any force closes remain, please drop me a mail.

Hash It! 1.2.0 Adds Site Tag History and FroYo Apps2SD Support

Jul 4, 2010

Today marks another important milestone for Hash It!, your friendly password memorization brain extension. ;-)

While you can conveniently use Hash It! from your preferred mobile web browser via its “Share” feature, some people prefer starting Hash It! from the launcher, which requires manual entry of the site tag. So far, Hash It! did not remember these manually entered site tags, which required repeated re-entry of the respective tag over time. To close this usability gap, Hash It! will remember the site tag in a history from this release on. Just type the first few characters of the desired tag and the history of matching tags will be shown. Users concerned with the privacy implications of this feature can easily disable it in the settings.

Furthermore, Hash It! did not support FroYo’s (Android 2.2) Apps2SD feature. While Hash It! is pretty small (< 100 kB) compared to other Android applications (so this feature is probably not vital), I would still like to leave this decision to the end-user, which is why starting with Hash It! 1.2.0 you can move it to your SD card (given that your phone is running Android 2.2).

Hash It! 1.2.0 is available via the Android Market. Details are also available at:

Have fun!

Android Power Management Statistics

Jul 1, 2010

Note to self: To dump the low-level Android power management statistics, use

dumpsys power

from an adb shell.

Hash It! 1.1.0 adds ccSLD support

Apr 30, 2010

A couple of days ago I visited the UK and also took my Android smartphone with me. After accessing some loal web sites I quickly noticed that Hash It! would not figure out the right site tag for them when it was invoked from the Android web browser via the “Share” intent.

So, I just rolled an update, Hash It! 1.1.0, which adds support for the most common ccSLDs (country code second-level domains), such as, or

Hash It! 1.1.0 is available via the Android Market. Details are also available at:


History of a GPL Source Code Request

Apr 26, 2010

Weeks have passed and still no update from HTC regarding the availability of the HTC Desire’s Linux kernel source code. Let’s take a look back at the history of the case: On April 3rd, I initially asked for the Desire’s Linux kernel source code in accordance with the GPLv2. A couple of mails and a few weeks later, HTC finally escalated the support ticket and eventually forwarded my request to R&D; on April 16th.

Java Method Signature Name Mangling

Apr 25, 2010

As with any modern programming language that supports method overloading, Java uses name mangling to distinguish methods that share the same name, but only differ in their parameters. Now, actually figuring out the exact algorithm used by javac by googling the Internet turned out to be quite tricky. Eventually, I dug up the following description, which at least serves as a starting point:

P.S.: This would not even have been an issue if HTC would open-source their proprietary code for the HTC Desire…

Hash It! Updated to Version 1.0.2

Apr 20, 2010

It has been a while since I last worked on Hash It!, but thanks to the bug report of an attentive user I just uploaded a new version (1.0.2) of Hash It! to the Android Market. Bottom line: Hash It! now works correctly on Android 1.5.

Hash It! is licensed under the GPLv3 and as such comes with full source code for your entertainment.

Further details on how to download it to your mobile phone as well as the changelog are available at:

Get it while it is still hot! ;-)

Android: Maps API Key Issues

Apr 19, 2010

When using Google Maps from within your Android application you need to obtain an API key in order to be able to retrieve Maps data at run-time. This API key is derived from the fingerprint of the signature key used to sign the application’s APK. Consequently, if the signature key used by your application at a given point in time no longer matches the one used to register the Maps API key, using the MapView will silently fail (the map will just display a gray grid instead of the expected map data). So far, so good.

As it seems, the Android ADT Eclipse plug-in also comes with an undocumented “feature”: If no “Custom debug keystore” is set in the Android Build Preferences, it will apparently use a different key to sign the APK when deploying it to a phone connected via USB than when deploying it to the Emulator. So, all your Maps applications will suddenly start to fail displaying map data once they are deployed on a real device for testing purposes.

To work around this issue, set the “Custom debug keystore” setting (empty by default) to the same value as the “Default debug keystore”.

HTC's GPL (non-)compliance

Apr 3, 2010

Well, Linux is not just free as in beer, but also free as in speech. As I wanted to dig a little deeper into HTC’s modifications applied to the Desire’s Linux kernel I did, what I am entitled to as per the GPLv2 the Desire’s Linux kernel is licensed under: I requested the source code via HTC’s support as the “HTC Developer Center” at, which usually hosts the Linux kernel source code drops for their Android phones, does not mention the Desire yet:

Dear HTC support,

I would hereby like to request the Linux Kernel source code for my HTC Desire phone according to section 3 of the GNU General Public License v2 under which the Linux kernel the Desire is based on is licensed. A download URL will be fine.


The answer I received was somewhat unexpected, but I will leave the judgment up to the reader:

Dear Thilo-Alexander

Thank you for your enquiry about linux.

Sorry we don’t support Linux, even though linux and android have similarities they’re not made for eachother. But here is the link for our kernals, happy Easter!

Best regards,

xxxx x
HTC Tech Support
Tel: +44 8458900xxx

Better luck next time… I replied through their ticketing system insisting on a source code copy (along with a short educational section about the true origins of the Android platform ;-) ). Let’s see what their next reply will look like…

Hash It! - Stop overloading your brain with passwords

Jan 5, 2010

As a happy long-term user of the Password Hasher extension for Mozilla Firefox I got used to being able to use different secure passwords per web site without having to take the burden of remembering them all.

When I recently bought an Android-based smartphone I was missing most of that convenience while surfing the Internet from my smartphone as Password Hasher was not available natively on that platform.

Hash It!, an application for the Android platform I developed, is there to bridge this gap: It eases using unique passwords per web site without overloading your brain by generating site-specific passwords derived from a secret master key. It maintains compatibility with the Password Hasher Firefox extension.

Hash It! is free (as in speech) open source software released under the GPLv3 with the source code being available on GitHub.

Further details on how to download it to your mobile phone are available at:


Transferring Text Messages (SMS) from Nokia to Android

Dec 25, 2009

Around a month ago I replaced my old Nokia 6300 cell phone with the Android-based Motorola Milestone (aka. Motorola Droid). While I could easily transfer all contacts by adding them to my GMail contacts list the text messages (aka. SMS) were stuck on the old phone without any official way to transfer them to the Milestone. Fortunately, there is a solution using Gammu, some Perl scripting and the Android SMS Backup & Restore application.